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NEWBUILD: Announcement in 2016?


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No, but shunting Normandie across to Le Havre following a new build for Caen would work well wouldn't it? Might not be a direct new build replacement for Tat but same outcome. No more Tat! :)

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STX used to own other European yards, but sold them off. French government has a stake in St Nazaire, and will be wary of jiggery pokery, but one feels the solution lies with some involvement of the only yard in France capable of building ferries these days.

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How long was tat's charter again? 2 years rings a bell (but might be a number I've picked from nowhere, in fact thinking about it now we've already reached 2 years haven't we?🙄🤔). I'm sure they must be thinking about getting a replacement for her sooner or later as well (probably not a new build though).

Was a 1 year charter at first if I'm not wrong,can't see Tat going anywhere soon though she's doing a job and is a cost effective vessel even if a bit unloved.

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In an interview in le Telegramme Martine Jordren states that two, possibly three, ships will be ordered in the next five years, with the Bretagne and Normandie being the priority to replace.

 

http://www.letelegramme.fr/economie/...php#closePopUp

 

This is the most important article about BF for a long time, coming as it does from Martine Jourdren who has been with the company literally since it's inception. It confirms what many of us have have been suggesting for some time now. So important that I thought it would be helpful to translate the whole thing, to better understand the bigger picture.

 

 

 

Brittany Ferries announced good results for 2015 and the future looks promising. How do you feel leaving the company after a career spanning 43 years?

I’m leaving at the right time. My successor is in place and both economic and financial conditions are good. We are really pleased to see the company has got out of the rut it was stuck in. Thanks to good figures for both freight and passengers, our turnover for 2015 has shown a healthy increase, helped by a buoyant pound and lower oil prices. If figures this year are similar to last then we expect another strong showing in 2016. On the social side we are pleased to have finally reached agreement over working hours and conditions. This has been far from pain free.

 

Will this revival lead to the company investing in new ships?

Yes, we are ready and in the starting blocks to renew the fleet. Our ships are ageing. We have no choice but to go for new builds due to the lack of good secondhand vessels that fit our requirements. We want to replace as a priority the Bretagne and Normandie, built in 1989 and 1991 respectively. In the next 5 years the company hopes to order at least 2 new ships, maybe even a third. We need to get a move on because there is a 3 year wait between ordering and delivery.

 

Do you envisage resurrecting the Pegasis Project using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)?

LNG is less attractive at the moment because of the low oil price, but our teams are looking at all options. Today it is still a blank sheet. The major problem is shipyard order books are full, including Saint-Nazaire until 2021 at the earliest.

 

The company is enjoying a revival after encountering a very rocky period and a serious social conflict back in 2012. How do you look back on this time?

Brittany Ferries was hit hard by the crisis back in 2008 and the crash in the value of Sterling that followed. Don’t forget 80% of our customers are British. Our income in Sterling collapsed, while 70% of our costs were in Euros.

Early in 2012 I told Jean-Marc Roué we needed to urgently implement a drastic plan to make 15 miilion Euros of savings. It was within this context that we put forward a plan to return to profit, cutting costs and asking our staff to contribute too. This caused strike action as well as our services being halted. It was a difficult time for everyone concerned but we feel we took the right decisions. From 2013 the company stopped losing money. Since then it has employed more than 800 staff on a full time basis, and this year we will be giving over 2.2 million Euros to our workforce in bonuses. We are very happy to do this, it’s important to reciprocate the gesture.

 

Starting as chief accountant in 1973, you have steadily risen in the company to take the highest position in 2009. Has being a woman worked against you?

No, being a woman hasn’t hindered me in the slightest. I have the complete respect of my shareholders, my President and my employees. I wish to thank Jean-Marc Roué who elected me as Chief Executive in 2009. It wasn’t easy for a young president of the supervisory board to take over the reins from Alexis Gourvannec. Not only did he rise to the challenge but he put a woman in charge of a seafaring company, a woman who knew the company inside out however. There is an exceptional understanding between us, that’s allowed me to be completely at ease in my work.

 

 

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This is the most important article about BF for a long time, coming as it does from Martine Jourdren who has been with the company literally since it's inception. It confirms what many of us have have been suggesting for some time now. So important that I thought it would be helpful to translate the whole thing, to better understand the bigger picture.

 

 

 

Brittany Ferries announced good results for 2015 and the future looks promising. How do you feel leaving the company after a career spanning 43 years?

I’m leaving at the right time. My successor is in place and both economic and financial conditions are good. We are really pleased to see the company has got out of the rut it was stuck in. Thanks to good figures for both freight and passengers, our turnover for 2015 has shown a healthy increase, helped by a buoyant pound and lower oil prices. If figures this year are similar to last then we expect another strong showing in 2016. On the social side we are pleased to have finally reached agreement over working hours and conditions. This has been far from pain free.

 

Will this revival lead to the company investing in new ships?

Yes, we are ready and in the starting blocks to renew the fleet. Our ships are ageing. We have no choice but to go for new builds due to the lack of good secondhand vessels that fit our requirements. We want to replace as a priority the Bretagne and Normandie, built in 1989 and 1991 respectively. In the next 5 years the company hopes to order at least 2 new ships, maybe even a third. We need to get a move on because there is a 3 year wait between ordering and delivery.

 

Do you envisage resurrecting the Pegasis Project using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)?

LNG is less attractive at the moment because of the low oil price, but our teams are looking at all options. Today it is still a blank sheet. The major problem is shipyard order books are full, including Saint-Nazaire until 2021 at the earliest.

 

The company is enjoying a revival after encountering a very rocky period and a serious social conflict back in 2012. How do you look back on this time?

Brittany Ferries was hit hard by the crisis back in 2008 and the crash in the value of Sterling that followed. Don’t forget 80% of our customers are British. Our income in Sterling collapsed, while 70% of our costs were in Euros.

Early in 2012 I told Jean-Marc Roué we needed to urgently implement a drastic plan to make 15 miilion Euros of savings. It was within this context that we put forward a plan to return to profit, cutting costs and asking our staff to contribute too. This caused strike action as well as our services being halted. It was a difficult time for everyone concerned but we feel we took the right decisions. From 2013 the company stopped losing money. Since then it has employed more than 800 staff on a full time basis, and this year we will be giving over 2.2 million Euros to our workforce in bonuses. We are very happy to do this, it’s important to reciprocate the gesture.

 

Starting as chief accountant in 1973, you have steadily risen in the company to take the highest position in 2009. Has being a woman worked against you?

No, being a woman hasn’t hindered me in the slightest. I have the complete respect of my shareholders, my President and my employees. I wish to thank Jean-Marc Roué who elected me as Chief Executive in 2009. It wasn’t easy for a young president of the supervisory board to take over the reins from Alexis Gourvannec. Not only did he rise to the challenge but he put a woman in charge of a seafaring company, a woman who knew the company inside out however. There is an exceptional understanding between us, that’s allowed me to be completely at ease in my work.

 

 

 

Well that knocks my thinking well and truly on the head!

 

I'm honestly surprised at the timescale for Normandie's replacement given the investment recently, on the other hand being emission compliant should mean a good price for her.

 

Bretagne is no surprise, neither is the decision to have a new build. there is quality tonnage on the secondhand market unfortunately it will require a large investment after purchase to reconfigure for BF's needs.

 

Being a BF fan, it's pleasing to read about the post 2008 recovery and the positive outcome to the problems of 2012.

 

The Far East build a quality RoPax. Both Tunisian Lines & Rederi Gotland have invested heavily recently.

 

Well done Fine Whine, your thoughts have been spot on.

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I assume 'Tat' is Etretat?

 

I have always found BF's lack of sister ships odd. They have never (from what I know) ordered a sister ship to new builds, so here is another one of DFP's theory of what should happen.

 

You all say 3 ships could be ordered so, two new ships build for Caen which will displace Normandie and Mont St Michel. Normandie will take on Bretagne's schedule while a new build is on its way to displace Mont St Michel. Bretagne has now been sold at this point (2018). Once the sister to the vessel that replaced Normandie is entered into service, Mont St Michel will take on Normandie's new schedule (Bretagne's old one). By 2019 the two new Caen sisters are in place, and Normandie is operating to Le Harve/Cherbourg from Portsmouth.

 

It is now 2020 and the third ship is hear. It is much smaller than the Caen twins but still relatively similar in terms of public areas. This ship will displace Barfleur and operate to Cherbourg, but will be able to divert to Caen in the event of a strike at Cherbourg. Barfleur will move onto (now this is really unlikely) a new Brittany Ferries Newhaven to Dieppe service.

 

Please understand that this is a lil theory that I am 90% sure will never happen. For names of this ships.... hmmm... Honfleur & Brittany for the Caen pair, and Pegasus for the Poole one :)

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I assume 'Tat' is Etretat?

 

I have always found BF's lack of sister ships odd. They have never (from what I know) ordered a sister ship to new builds, so here is another one of DFP's theory of what should happen.

 

You all say 3 ships could be ordered so, two new ships build for Caen which will displace Normandie and Mont St Michel. Normandie will take on Bretagne's schedule while a new build is on its way to displace Mont St Michel. Bretagne has now been sold at this point (2018). Once the sister to the vessel that replaced Normandie is entered into service, Mont St Michel will take on Normandie's new schedule (Bretagne's old one). By 2019 the two new Caen sisters are in place, and Normandie is operating to Le Harve/Cherbourg from Portsmouth.

 

It is now 2020 and the third ship is hear. It is much smaller than the Caen twins but still relatively similar in terms of public areas. This ship will displace Barfleur and operate to Cherbourg, but will be able to divert to Caen in the event of a strike at Cherbourg. Barfleur will move onto (now this is really unlikely) a new Brittany Ferries Newhaven to Dieppe service.

 

Please understand that this is a lil theory that I am 90% sure will never happen. For names of this ships.... hmmm... Honfleur & Brittany for the Caen pair, and Pegasus for the Poole one :)

I could point out at least 10 flaws in your post but I will leave it to someone a bit more tactful.

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I could do the same - but a bit of fun :) What are the flaws that you think?

 

First obvious one is that Normandie and MSM are totally unsuitable as regular/long-term replacements for Bretagne on Ports-St Malo...

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First obvious one is that Normandie and MSM are totally unsuitable as regular/long-term replacements for Bretagne on Ports-St Malo...

 

Indeed - completely unsuitable, for reasons that have been aired often enough in this forum for it to be pointless going into it all again.

 

It is part of the charm of the BF fleet that there have never been any "sisterships" in the fleet in the entire history of the company. Far from strange, this has been deliberate policy and reflects the priority BF has always given to having individual ships in their fleet that all have their own individual charms, characteristics and personalities. I use the word "ships" deliberately and in its true romantic sense.....BF has never viewed these as simply modes of transport off a production line. The character and personality of each member of the fleet is an important part of the BF ethos and I'd be very surprised to see them change that.

 

The sensible part of DFP's post is the Normandie operating to Le Havre and Cherbourg bit. Indeed, MSM could do that too, except that she is not in line for replacement any time soon. Le Havre and Cherbourg are the only other ports in the BF network that the purpose-built Caen ships are suited to operating to.

 

As for Barfleur operating out of Newhaven....I assume that was tongue in cheek, and did not call for a serious response.

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In terms of replacements, assuming that it's a given that Pont Aven is soon to be St Malo bound. Then people have mentioned on here the stresses on the ships that biscay crossings can cause, if that's true and a reason, if only partly, for moving PA on then would the same issues not be a cause for looking at replacing the Cap? Can't see her being redeployed on a current french route?

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In terms of replacements, assuming that it's a given that Pont Aven is soon to be St Malo bound. Then people have mentioned on here the stresses on the ships that biscay crossings can cause, if that's true and a reason, if only partly, for moving PA on then would the same issues not be a cause for looking at replacing the Cap? Can't see her being redeployed on a current french route?

 

I can't see why they would look to replace the Cap Finistere any time soon; it seems to me that she has performed very well indeed on the Spanish routes and has helped the company to achieve some if its recent success.

 

I have read the recent article but unless I missed something I didn't see anything which explicitly implied that any new ship would be specifically for the Spanish routes?

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I assume 'Tat' is Etretat?

 

I have always found BF's lack of sister ships odd. They have never (from what I know) ordered a sister ship to new builds, so here is another one of DFP's theory of what should happen.

 

You all say 3 ships could be ordered so, two new ships build for Caen which will displace Normandie and Mont St Michel. Normandie will take on Bretagne's schedule while a new build is on its way to displace Mont St Michel. Bretagne has now been sold at this point (2018). Once the sister to the vessel that replaced Normandie is entered into service, Mont St Michel will take on Normandie's new schedule (Bretagne's old one). By 2019 the two new Caen sisters are in place, and Normandie is operating to Le Harve/Cherbourg from Portsmouth.

 

It is now 2020 and the third ship is hear. It is much smaller than the Caen twins but still relatively similar in terms of public areas. This ship will displace Barfleur and operate to Cherbourg, but will be able to divert to Caen in the event of a strike at Cherbourg. Barfleur will move onto (now this is really unlikely) a new Brittany Ferries Newhaven to Dieppe service.

 

Please understand that this is a lil theory that I am 90% sure will never happen. For names of this ships.... hmmm... Honfleur & Brittany for the Caen pair, and Pegasus for the Poole one :)

 

 

The president of the French Line, Jean dal Piaz had a strict policy early in the last century during the golden era of transatlantic steamers...

 

Roughly translated he said, "To live is to create, not to copy"

 

He then graced the ocean with Ile de France whose interior stunned the world. She was the first not to mimic the traditional Euro palaces, a true Art Deco masterpiece...

 

Built at St Naz', I think it's a tradition BF uphold, each vessel is unique with her own character and long may it continue...

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I would imagine that one ship would be a straightforward Normandie replacement and that at least one of the others an updated Armorique able to cover any of the routes and act as a stand in for Caen during refits. Armorique herself has proved to be quite a versatile vessel despite her lack of a posh eatery.

 

Although it seems clear that Pont Aven will replace Bretagne on St Malo she is still rather 'overkill' for that route I think, although maybe modify her to get rid of the underused pool in favour of much needed quiet lounge seating.

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I would imagine that one ship would be a straightforward Normandie replacement and that at least one of the others an updated Armorique able to cover any of the routes and act as a stand in for Caen during refits. Armorique herself has proved to be quite a versatile vessel despite her lack of a posh eatery.

 

Although it seems clear that Pont Aven will replace Bretagne on St Malo she is still rather 'overkill' for that route I think, although maybe modify her to get rid of the underused pool in favour of much needed quiet lounge seating.

 

 

Don't be mean about the pool.... I have seen water in it at least twice in the past 10 years. LOL :)

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Going back to earlier comments, I cannot see them waiting till 2021 to even order the first new vessel. It will have to be an eastern/Asian yard will it not, at least for the first. Understandably preferential to be with STX/French, but if push comes to shove it may even prove more cost effective to shop around further afield, at least for the first one?

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Don't be mean about the pool.... I have seen water in it at least twice in the past 10 years. LOL :)

Yes, I've even seen the kids' entertainer organising a fishing contest in it (plastic fish, of course).

 

 

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Today's Le Marin, and Ouest France, quote Martine Jourdren as saying one new ship will be ordered in 2016 and one in 2017, to replace Bretagne and Normandie. Beyond that, the plan is to replace Normandie Express and Cap Finisterre with newbuilds in the following years. 700 - 800 million Euros investment over 5 - 6 years. STX probably involved in the first 2, though they may not be built in St Nazaire. Not convinced that LNG is the way to go at present. Time will tell.

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will be intriguing to see what sort of form the replacement to the Normandie Express will be - newbuild maybe? one of the green Incats?

I'm surprised that's even on the table I know its economical now but when it's built 2020 2021 ? Will fuel prices make it uneconomical? Who knows?

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Today's Le Marin, and Ouest France, quote Martine Jourdren as saying one new ship will be ordered in 2016 and one in 2017, to replace Bretagne and Normandie. Beyond that, the plan is to replace Normandie Express and Cap Finisterre with newbuilds in the following years. 700 - 800 million Euros investment over 5 - 6 years. STX probably involved in the first 2, though they may not be built in St Nazaire. Not convinced that LNG is the way to go at present. Time will tell.

 

Do you think that's for Normandie to go elsewhere or to move routes to LH? Curious that they'd replace given the recent outlay, as others on here already mentioned. And no mention of Barf either. She plods on.

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